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Assemblywoman Connie Conway was elected Assembly GOP leader just yesterday, but campaign finance records show she was busy boosting the campaign coffers of Assembly candidates before the vote.

In the month leading up to the leadership vote, the Tulare Republican made maximum allowable contributions to the general election campaigns of 10 potential new members, including six of the 11 freshman Republicans just elected to the Assembly. She had already donated the limit to an seventh freshman's bid and maxed out to another new member during the primary.

Conway also donated the largest amount allowed per election to several Republicans who lost competitive races, including 5th Assembly District candidate Andy Pugno and made a $3,900 contribution to the state Senate bid of Republican Assemblyman Ted Gaines.

Support of freshman members could have been crucial for Conway's triumph. Assembly leader Martin Garrick declined to run for re-election at the mandatory caucus leadership vote. Those 11 freshmen form more than a third of the 28 members of the caucus for the upcoming legislative session.

Conway spokesman Dillon Gibbons said Conway told him she simply "gave money to people who asked for it."

Campaign fundraising and electing Republican members will be a major part of Conway's job as leader. Conway, who was up for re-election in the 34th Assembly District, raised $30,800 in her campaign account between Oct. 1 and Oct. 16, roughly half of what was raised by Garrick in the same time period.

A spreadsheet of contributions reported by Conway in the month of October is posted after the jump.


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